Friday, November 14, 2008

Bailout debate

Saxby Chambliss came out against the auto industry bailout, and I've got folks from both sides trying to sway me.

From what I can gather, the Republicans I've chatted with who oppose the bailout do so because they think the auto industry made lousy agreements with the unions. The Democrats I've chatted with who oppose the bailout do so because they think the American auto industry has habitually and stubbornly made a faulty product that has flopped on the marketplace.

Brad Johnson's take, which I've linked to, somewhat argues for a bailout by noting that more than three million jobs are at stake, and the loss of those jobs would no doubt be devastating for an already struggling economy and put us even further behind the curve in developing more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The latter two are compelling arguments to me for both sides (the anti-union one, not so much), and I'm not sure what to make. I'm still not crazy about this idea, and I'm only willing to listen if there's significant oversight that requires loaned capital be used for research and development for more fuel-efficient automobiles.


Blogger The Cunctator said...

Thanks for linking.

Atrios got it right when he pointed out the govt's been helping the fake economy but not the real economy.

My less formal take is that we've got two options if we want the industry to survive at all:
1. protect the execs and screw the workers
2. protect the workers and screw the execs

The Repubs are shooting for #1. I'd prefer door #2.

Or we can do nothing and open door #3:
The US manufacturing sector (domestic steel, auto, etc.) collapses and the cashflow to the banks and thereby to foreign creditors continues, so in a few years we're left with nothing but debt.

And I mean nothing.

9:40 PM  

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